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​Episode 4: ​I Can’t Be Close to You Without Suffering: The Cinema of Andrzej Żuławski, Part 1


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Andrzej-ZulawskiIn the fourth episode of Daughters of Darkness, Kat and Samm begin a four-part discussion of the career of Polish director Andrzej Zuławski. Meant to be a celebration of his life and incredible work, the episode begins with a brief discussion of his early years, particularly his training as an assistant director under Andrzej Wajda. This is followed by a discussion of his two short films for Polish television, The Story of Triumphant Love (1969) and Pavoncello (1969), two lesser seen and perhaps more conventional works, where he established a number of the themes he would use throughout his career: love triangles, troubled romance, hysterical women, literary source material, and dizzying staircase sequences.

This is followed by a lengthy exploration of his first feature-length film, The Third Part of the Night (1971), which was co-written by Zuławski’s father, Mirosław, and is loosely based on the elder Zuławski’s experiences working in a typhus lab during the Nazi occupation. The episode wraps up with a look at The Devil (1972), Zuławski’s unhinged second feature, a film that was promptly banned by the communist government and resulted in Zuławski’s departure from Poland and relocation to France. Set during the period of German occupation in Poland in the late eighteenth century, the film follows the homeward odyssey of a troubled young man who is released from prison by a mysterious stranger.

About Kat EllingerAbout Samm DeighanSubscribe on iTunes

About Samm Deighan

Samm Deighan is the Associate Editor of DiaboliqueMagazine.com and hosts their Daughters of Darkness podcast. She's the editor of Satanic Pandemonium, has contributed to Fangoria, Paracinema, and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, among others, and she's currently writing a book on WWII and cult cinema.

4 comments

  1. You might be interested in these two audio recordings i took at the recent Zulawski mini festival within the Polish film festival recently held at the ICA in London.

    Re: Possession

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMg-rQDNyEg

    Re: Cosmos

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rctm8Ndc3EM

  2. Great podcast. Can’t wait for the rest. I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel and Andrzej’s DP – also Andrzej – in Warsaw when I was colouring my feature film ‘The Loner’. I was hoping to meet Zulawski at his retro at the Lincoln Center a few months ago but he sadly passed only days before. My colourist in Warsaw was simultaneously working on the remaster of ‘On the Silver Globe’ and I got to see the original 35mm cans that were squirreled away by the camera team when the government shut down production and destroyed the sets. There are not many directors who can rip straight to the core of your being. For me he’s up there with Kubrick, Lynch and von Trier. Even his latest Cosmos is a beautiful swan song to the poetic absurdity of existence which I think he knew better than most.

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